Oscan in Southern Italy and Sicily

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Cambridge University Press, 2015 - Foreign Language Study - 306 pages
In pre-Roman Italy and Sicily, dozens of languages and writing systems competed and interacted, and bilingualism was the norm. Using frameworks from epigraphy, archaeology and the sociolinguistics of language contact, this book explores the relationship between Greek and Oscan, two of the most widely spoken languages in the south of the peninsula. Dr McDonald undertakes a new analysis of the entire corpus of South Oscan texts written in Lucania, Bruttium and Messana, including dedications, curse tablets, laws, funerary texts and graffiti. She demonstrates that genre and domain are critical to understanding where and when Greek was used within Oscan-speaking communities, and how ancient bilinguals exploited the social meaning of their languages in their writing. This book also offers a cutting-edge example of how to build the fullest possible picture of bilingualism in fragmentary languages across the ancient world.
 

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Contents

Bilingualism and language contact in written texts
36
Alphabets epigraphy and orthography
63
Dedicatory inscriptions
94
Curse tablets
133
Legal texts
167
Official inscriptions coins funerary inscriptions
194
Conclusions
224
Catalogue of sites
244
Dating of inscriptions and concordances
258
Bibliography
276
General index
295
Index locorum
302
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Katherine McDonald is Research Fellow in Classics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and an affiliated postdoctoral researcher on the AHRC-funded project 'Greek in Italy'. Her current research interests include the Italic languages, ancient bilingualism, personal names, and gender linguistics.

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